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Release-Day Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James // VBC ReviewThe Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Lauren James
Published: July 3, 2018 (HarperTeen)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

In the year 2048 NASA launches The Infinity into space, heading to Earth II on a projected 44-year journey to cultivate new life.

The daughter to two astronauts aboard The Infinity Romy Silvers was the first person born in space. Ever since the death of her parents five years ago, Romy knows what it’s like to be on your own, lonely in the vastness that is space. The only interaction Romy now receives is through time-delayed interactions with her therapist back on Earth.

So when she learns that Earth is sending another, newer vessel, The Eternity, to join The Infinity on its mission, Romy is ecstatic. Through correspondence, Romy meets J, the Commander of The Eternity. When communications with Earth suddenly stop, Romy is left feeling even more adrift than normal, and she comes to rely more and more on J. However, as their ships get closer to contact with one another, things start not quite adding up right for Romy. Is the loneliness of space and the tragic loss of her parents finally getting to her? Or is something more sinister going on?

I have to hand it to Lauren James for writing what starts out as such an unassuming story about a girl alone in space that slowly reveals itself as a sci-fi thriller. Despite many chapters filled with the mundane day-to-day routine of Romy’s living conditions, I didn’t want to put the book down because each page would add one more layer to the mystery of what happened on board The Infinity with Romy and her parents and how she might still be showing the effects of these events.

Lauren James utilizes a lot of different tropes and genres and, essentially, sets them in space, but it never feels too congested. I swear James also paid homage to some classic female-lead sci-fi movies with Romy’s character. Being only sixteen, yet resourceful enough to run and live on a spaceship by yourself for years, makes me want to follow this character into adulthood and see what awaits her. Lauren James does an excellent job of conveying the fear at being this small, lone entity in something as infinite as space, yet showing perseverance and the belief in the mission.

I’m keeping this one short and sweet because I feel like this type of story only benefits from going in knowing as little as possible, but I have no doubt The Loneliest Girl in the Universe will pull you into its orbit.

Sexual content: references to sex

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